September 03, 2007

On the Being of a Grad Student (Part 2)

A moment in the life and times of a graduate student:

It's the week before Labor Day weekend. You have an abstract submission for a conference due on Friday evening. On your own, you might never submit to this conference, or care to attend it; however your advisor is determined to keep up his appearance in the academic community and thus must show you off. You oblige and finish the abstract by Thursday at mid day - sending it to your advisor for one last (well... first) perusal and approval. And while you know the submission deadline will be extended (they always are), your girlfriend will be in town this weekend and you hope to get the abstract out of the way before she arrives. What's more, she has a real job and thus has Monday off from work (legitimately) and you wish to spend time with her. Grad students don't ever really get days off. Even on holidays or approved vacation days your advisor has somehow managed to instill in you a moderate amount of guilt. What kind of slacker grad student takes off for a minor holiday such as Thanksgiving!? So you make plans with your girlfriend to do something fun - perhaps a picnic and then an afternoon matinée. But he knows. Somehow your advisor has caught wind of the fact that you intend to stray from his bidding. So he plots his revenge. Rather than meeting with you on Friday to discuss your abstract (as you requested), he waits until Sunday night to contact you. And "coincidentally" requests a meeting smack in the middle of your Labor Day plans. You can try to change the meeting time, but it will be of no avail. Your advisor knows that you must answer his every beck and call. After all, you hope to graduate one day and emerge from this pitiful graduate existence.

Don't you?

1 comment:

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